Special Events

One Day - One Hundred Thanks

One of the Feasts by James Lee

Some say that the American holiday of Thanksgiving is nothing more than a myth built on tragedy. I say it’s a day of counting your blessings, no matter how hard that may be during these trying times. And we must never forget that times are always trying for someone regardless of the season.

Inspired by a delightful post Emily Suess wrote last year, I decided to create my list of 100 things I’m thankful for. It’s been an interesting year or three, and I want to make sure I take a moment to stop and reflect on what I’ve been through, where I am now, and why I haven’t stopped striving for something better.

Please forgive me if I seem a bit like Little Orphan Annie here. I’m a die-hard realist 364 days a year, but for this one day, I want to pause and be grateful. So in no particular order, here goes ...

  1. Knee-high socks. Great with knee-high boots.
  2. Financial freedom. I don’t have as much of it as I would like, but I’ve had less.
  3. Sunsets. Natural beauty knows no bounds.
  4. Architecture. Man-made beauty ain’t half bad either.
  5. Sunshine. Laying in the sun on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Cats know what’s up.
  6. Contemporary art. The ingenuity of this subgenre never fails to impress me.
  7. Patience. I have little, but I know a virtue when I see one.
  8. Volunteer opportunities. Reminds me that giving back is never a chore.
  9. Ice cream. The best dessert form.
  10. Music of all kinds. Because variety is the spice of life!
  11. Historical perspective. My ancestors’ struggle must never be forgotten.
  12. Libraries. Best invention ever!
  13. Recycling programs.
  14. Freedom. Vague, but true.
  15. Physically able-bodied. I have a strong constitution, rarely get sick and all of my body functions work to the best of their ability = very blessed I am.
  16. Fresh air. If you’ve ever been to the Portland airport in Oregon or Lancaster County in Pennsylvania, you know what I mean.
  17. Historical tours. What can I say? Visiting a new city is incomplete without one.
  18. Wifi in my apartment. Sitting on my bed or couch surfing the net never felt so good.
  19. US geography. Why? Go here.
  20. Flannel sheets. Hmmm, warm.
  21. Dwayne Johnson. His charm, humor and body are just .... Plus, he inspires me with his discipline, his refusal to never let others define him, and his desire to never forget where he came from.
  22. Journals (print and electronic).
  23. Sweaters. Warmth, no ironing and a variety of styles, colors and textures.
  24. Yoga mats. I don’t do yoga. I prefer pilates and the mats are perfect for it.
  25. Books (hard copy). Will never not be cool!
  26. Live theater. The play is the thing.
  27. My mom. Does this really need an explanation?
  28. Lack of athletic ability. Sure, I got picked last for all the teams, but I never had to worry about rising at 4am on a Tuesday to make it to a 5am practice at school.
  29. Natural hair care forums for women of color. I’d be lost without them.
  30. Fireplaces, furnaces and radiators. I don’t know who invented these 3 things, but bless you for doing so.
  31. Lafayette. My trusty automobile for the last 9 years.
  32. Lotion. Those of us with dry skin will never stop appreciating your existence.
  33. R&B music. I love all types of music, but nothing speaks to me like rhythm and blues.
  34. Hot chocolate.
  35. My grandmother. I miss her every day.
  36. WordPress. Thanks for not making me feel completely hopeless.
  37. MP3 players.
  38. The Bohemian approach to life.
  39. Guest lecturers and book signings. Because authors deserve to be treated like rock stars too!
  40. Blue jeans. Second best invention after libraries!
  41. Intermittent windshield wipers. I’m glad Hollywood made a movie about Bob Kearns, the inventor who went through hell to get credit for his genius.
  42. Gloves. The stretchy, non-leather kind.
  43. Soul food. If I have to explain, you’ll never understand.
  44. Poetry jams. I never truly appreciated poetry until I went to my first jam.
  45. Crooked teeth. Our flaws remind us that the Almighty wants us to remain humble above all else.
  46. Printed photographs. Am I the only one who misses these?
  47. Dancing. My first love.
  48. Magazines. Especially fashion mags that don’t plaster the same celebrities on the cover month after month.
  49. Indoor plumbing. Third best invention after blue jeans!
  50. Friends all over the United States. [waves to friends in California, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Texas, Oregon and New York]
  51. Sunflowers. The most awkward, towering vision of unconventional beauty in the world of flora.
  52. Mr. Dan’s. The best guilty pleasure hamburgers in Indy!
  53. Solitude.
  54. Whitewater rafting. I hope to go again some day.
  55. The Goodbye Girl. The funny, silly and unconventionally respectful relationship between the mother and daughter has always reminded me of my relationship with my mom.
  56. Tea. Because tea is for winners!
  57. New Orleans. May your tragedy never be forgotten nor your beauty wiped from this earth.
  58. Horses. See #43.
  59. Road trips. Freedom in vehicular form.
  60. Hot water. Showers wouldn’t be the same without them.
  61. French fries. I’d call them a guilty pleasure, but I feel no guilt at all.
  62. Internet. Need I say more?
  63. Candles.
  64. Twitter. Why? Read this.
  65. Long’s Bakery. Because when they say it’s an institution, they mean it!
  66. Netflix. To hell with the foot-stomping protest. I like their service and I’m keeping them.
  67. Boxing, wrestling and MMA fighting. Don’t ask. I just do.
  68. Violins. Because all the cool kids play violin. :-)
  69. Wacoal bras. Women who are blessed will understand.
  70. World geography. Mountains, rivers, deserts, swamps, tundras, etc. I think it's all majestic.
  71. My great-great-grandmother, great-grandmother and great aunts. Women who misbehave make the best role models.
  72. People who kill the food I like to eat. Sorry vegetarians. I would totally be on your side if I had to kill the cows, chickens, fish and pigs myself.
  73. Scripted television. I love too many great shows to name just one.
  74. Paris. I will visit you some day.
  75. Men’s biceps. Shallow, but beautiful.
  76. Pianos. Specifically Harry Connick Jr.’s, Victor Borge’s, Fats Waller’s and Stevie Wonder’s.
  77. Boots. In all their various colors and sizes.
  78. Washers and dryers.
  79. Halloween. If only all holidays were this fun!
  80. Shoe repair shops. I never appreciated them until I used one to repair my most expensive pair of shoes. Here’s hoping they never go away!
  81. Vodka. Surely you understand.
  82. Stand-up comedians. The bravest and most underappreciated performing artists.
  83. Stuffed animals. Why?
  84. Shrimp jambalaya.
  85. My little first and second cousins. They’re bad and hard-headed, but I love them to pieces.
  86. Hope. Because even though I’m a misanthrope at heart, I still hope that I will meet people who will prove me wrong every day.
  87. Napping. To be unconscious, yet alive is a wonderful thing. In the middle of the day no less.
  88. Calvin Fletcher’s Coffee Company. A great space and the coolest coffeeshop in Indy.
  89. Electric can openers. No. Seriously.
  90. Los Angeles. Millions of people see only your flaws, but I became so much more of the person I want to be after moving to Los Angeles. For that reason alone, I’ll always defend you and be eternally grateful.
  91. Modern dentistry. A necessary, but amazingly comforting evil.
  92. My sense of humor. I don’t think I’d be here without it.
  93. Contact lenses.
  94. Mustangs. The sweetest cars ever made.
  95. Animation. From Bugs Bunny to Phineas & Ferb!
  96. Vacuum cleaners. I know they make my life easier. How about you?
  97. Thigh-high stockings. Because one-piece pantyhose are just awful.
  98. Celebrity crushes. Because his face and my imagination make a great couple.
  99. My inquisitive nature.  With it, I am forever incandescent. See what I did there.
  100. Soldiers and sailors. I know it sounds hokey, cliched and sooooo "Middle America," but my grandfather was a paratrooper in Vietnam. He still gets nightmares to this day. I'm grateful that men and women like him make that sacrifice so I don't have to.

What are you thankful for?

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